Saturday, 25 May 2013

Foxy Harry



Today we mark the birth of one Harry Fox, vaudeville dancer, silent film star and comedian, 131 years ago.

Why?

For Harry was none other than the man who gave his name to "The Fox Trot" - one of the greatest of the "dance crazes" that swept the world before, during and after the Great War, and eventually (slowed down and gentrified) became one of the staple dances of all international ballroom contests to this day.



Facts:
  • The Foxtrot rhythm was originally an African American ragtime dance, inspired by W.C. Handy's Memphis Blues.
  • Mr Fox was one of the stars (alongside Grace Darling and Olive Thomas) of the Beatrice Fairfax series of silent films (inspired by the world's first personal advice column "Dear Beatrice Fairfax" - which in turn inspired the lyrics in the Gershwin classic But Not For Me).
  • In the 1920s Harry was briefly married to one of the fabulously camp Ziegfeld performers The Dolly Sisters.
Here is wonderful clip to celebrate Mr Fox's birthday - a riotous Foxtrot scene from the 1919 silent comedy The Oyster Princess, starring the marvellously-named Ossi Oswalda (who is quite likely to gain her own entry here in the Museum of Camp one day)...



Harry Fox, born Arthur Carringford, (May 25, 1882 - July 20, 1959)

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